Welcome to the main website of

The Ely Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers (Ely DA)

Dates for the Association (larger calendar here)

Here are all the dates for the Association, Districts and Stretham REC shown as a Google Calendar.  

Association News

10-bell and 12-bell Practices in December

The final EDA 10-bell practice of the year will be on Friday 8th December, 7.30-9pm at St Neots. This is instead of its usual 5th Friday slot, which would have been the 29th December.

The EDA 12-bell practice that would normally have been on 30th December at Great St Mary's in Cambridge has been cancelled because of its proximity to Christmas.

Wendy Piercy

We are sorry to pass on the sad news that Wendy Piercy died 0n 20 September. Wendy lived just outside the association boundary in Eaton Socon, but used to ring regularly in the Huntingdon District and was a member of the Ely DA.

Peterborough Diocesan Guild 100th anniversary

In 2024 the Peterborough Diocesan Guild will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of its creation. During the year a number of events are being planned, there will be some aims and challenges for members to aspire to, and merchandise for sale. 

The events are taking place one in each month, and usually on the second weekend, mostly Saturdays.  The full list of events is available of their website at https://pdg.org.uk/pdg-100. A list of the merchandise available for the anniversary can be found at https://pdg.org.uk/pdg-100/centenary-year-merchandise

Ely DA Training Day 2023

The Ely DA Wisbech District is hosting a day of training events at Walsoken near Wisbech in order to help ringers from the Ely Diocese and surrounding areas expand their range of skills, from practical to theory. Come along and have fun! £5.00 donation for Details and booking information at https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/ely-da-training-day-2023-2405179.

Mobile Demonstration Bell

The Association has a mobile bell which can be used to demonstrate and promote bell ringing to a wider audience at such events as Church and village fêtes and fairs, tower training events and open days. For many years this has been stored by one of our members when not in use, but they are moving house shortly and we need to find a new place to keep it. Could you offer a home to the mobile bell? The details of measurements appear on the website, and it is also stored with display boards, a wall banner and the new Ely DA pull up recruitment banner. The mobile bell and trailer can be left out overnight. If you might be able to help then please get in touch with the Recruitment and Training Officer at rato@elyda.org.uk.

Celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the Ely DA

Mugs, badges, keyrings and garments are now available with a special logo celebrating 125 years of the Ely DA.

Mugs £7 each, available from 25th March. Enamel keyrings and badges, £4 each will be available from mid-April, also porcelain mugs at £10 each. 

Printed t-shirts and embroidered polo shirts, sweatshirts and fleeces are available now, to order from Expertees (now P&M Custom Clothing) at our webshop here.

All enquiries to Janet Garnett on elyweb_at_elyda.org.uk. Mugs, keyrings and badges will be available at district meetings and at the AGM, and I will be happy to make arrangements for collection or delivery. Postage can be arranged if required, at extra cost.

Ridgman Trophy 2023

On Saturday 17 June, the Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church bellringers hosted the Ridgman trophy, a 10 bell striking contest for associations that border the Ely DA. The competition was held at Towcester and the test piece was 216 changes of spliced Plain and Little Bob Royal. The judges were Andrew and Joanne Wilby.

The results were as follows:

Bedford did not complete the test piece.

The 2024 competition will take place on 8 June in Biggleswade.

Association Events

There are a number of semi-regular Association  events which will be of interest to the wider membership:

Ely DA AGM and inter-district striking competition 2023

On Saturday 13th April 2023, the Ely DA AGM was held at St Mary the Virgin, Fen Ditton. The AGM itself was preceded by general ringing on the 12 bells at Great St Mary's, Cambridge, and on the new ring of 6 bells installed at St Clement's. The inter-district striking competition was held at St Andrew the Great in Cambride, and there was general ringing at Fen Ditton before the service and tea.

At the AGM, the Treasurer and Webmaster were not standing for re-election, and they were thanked for thie service to the Association. Shirley Warbrick was elected as Treasurer and Jon Warbrick was elected as Webmaster. The other officers were eligible and willing to stand for re-election, and were duly re-elected.

Changes to Rules 4 and 12 of the Association had been proposed with due notice, and were approved by the meeting. As a result, those rules are now (with changes highlighted):


a) Subscriptions are due on 1st January. Members whose subscriptions are more than twelve months in arrears shall be deemed to have resigned their membership.

b) Members elected after the Annual District Meeting will become liable for a subscription from the following 1st of January

 c) Subscription rates shall be proposed by the General Committee and ratified at a General Meeting of the Association.


a) Additions, alterations and deletions to these Rules shall only take place at a General Meeting of the Association and after due notice of not less than two months.

b) Changes to the subscription rates and peal fees may only take place at a General Meeting of the Association and after due notice of not less than two months.

c) Details of proposed changes of Rules, subscription rates and peal fees should be published on the Association website and circulated to correspondents of towers at which there are Ringing Members, at least one month prior to the General Meeting.

The details of the striking competition are:

Judges comments:

Team A: a good piece of ringing;  the very few serious faults that did occur were localised and did not impact the rest of the change. Slowed slightly towards the end. Overall very good, strong compass and enjoyable to listen to.

Team B: another good piece of ringing. Enjoyable, some localised faults, occasional unevenness in leading with the odd late blow. Several very nice leads and overall a positive impression.

Team C: yet another good piece. A couple of method mistakes did blemish it slightly, but recovered from well. Ringing settled in second half and there was even ringing in the final leads. A positive piece of ringing.

Geoff Reed Swaffham Bulbeck

Jo Jones, tower captain at Swaffham Bulbeck, writes:

It is with great sadness that I tell you that Geoff Reed, a ringer at  Swaffham Bubeck tower, passed away on Thursday 29th September 2022. All are welcome to attend the funeral service which will be taking place at 2pm on Thursday 3rd November 2022 at:

St Mary’s Church, 98 High St, Swaffham Bulbeck, Cambridge CB25 0LX

There will be ringing before the service to which all are invited to join in with the local ringers.

Please aim to arrive from 1:30pm for the service to begin at 2:00pm. Please do note that there is only on-street parking close to the church (No Church Car park).

There will also be a private family committal directly after the service at Swaffham Bulbeck Village Cemetery. We thank you for your understanding.

EDA History - 'The First Hundred Years'

The EDA History has now been published and every Association tower with members will receive a free copy.

Those wishing to purchase a personal copy should contact the treasurer, Nicholas Small, using smallsatgirvian@gmail.com or at 12 Cambridge Road, Waterbeach, Cambridge CB25 9NJ.

The price is £10, including UK second class postage.

Payment by cheque to "Ely DACBR", or email Nicholas for electronic payment details.

Ely DA AGM, Wisbech District, Saturday 21st May 2022

The Agenda is here, and the draft minutes of the 2021 AGM are here.

At the AGM, Bob Cox was elected as Chairman of the Ely DA. His contact details are here.

Also at the AGM, a small, procedural change was made to the Rules of the Ely DA to allow Central Council Representatives to take office in the year of their election. This change is included in the Rules issue 0522, available here.

The inter-district 8-bell competition was held at Terrington St Clement during the afternoon and three teams entered a band. The judges were Alan and Sylvia Bird from Helpringham in Lincolnshire, and they placed the teams in the following order:

1st Huntingdon, method  Grandsire Triples, 19.5 faults

2nd Cambridge, method Grandsire Triples, 32 faults

3rd Ely, method Plain Bob Triples, 37 faults

The trophy was presented to Phillip George of the Huntingdon band at the end of tea before the meeting

New Safeguarding Training document issued April 2022

Shirley Warbrick, as Safeguarding Officer for the Ely DA, with the help of Martin Kitson and Phillip George, has provided a new document about recent changes to the Church of England’s arrangements for Safeguarding training and how this affects Tower Captains and others involved in the management of ringing. The new document, Safeguarding Training, dated April 2022, is available here, and also from the Safeguarding page.

Martin's Final Chat, April 2022

You may well have heard that I have resigned as your Chairman and so this is the last of my little “Chats”. I don’t want to go into the reason for my resignation now, but I’d just like to say how grateful I am for your support over the past four years, and now I’d like to look forward.

In August 2020, when the first lockdown restrictions had been lifted slightly, we travelled to the coast near Harlech, and on our first afternoon there, I sat in the garden of our bungalow looking out on to the Lleyn Peninsula, watching the sea birds and waders making the best use of the tide being out. I was struck by how different things could have been., had the virus been that much more virulent. The birds would be there, doing what they do, but there’d be no people, no you and me, to see them. The human race, and all its works, blasted by a great wind from the east, leaving behind no recollection of the past, and no hope for a future that might have been. Humankind’s final obituary.

(Continued here)


More chats here.

Alan Barber

Sue Marsden writes:

I'm sorry to have to announce the death of Alan M Barber today, 12th July. Alan was a member of the Ely District from the early 1960s until the late 1970s, but always maintained his connection with the Ely District and Association. He was a first class conductor and composer, and was Ely Peal Secretary for a number of years. He moved to the North East a while back. He will be very much missed, and I was honoured to count him as a friend. May he rest in peace.

The Ely DA Superlist is here!

You asked for a diocesan-wide mailing list for the Ely DA, and we have set one up. Welcome to <elyda-superlist@groups.io>. The list will mirror information from the ElyDA which is currently (and will continue to be) sent out via district mailing lists, Facebook groups and websites. However, the list has potential to be much more useful than this - it depends entirely on what use you make of it. You can have discussions amongst yourselves about Pickled Egg methods or Young Ringers or anything else you like.

Anyone who signs up can post to the list, and posts will be unmoderated (except for one initial post). Hashtags are used to enable individual list members to configure their own delivery of emails - you can mute certain topics, or receive notifications only of specific topics.

If you already have a groups.io login then it is simply a question of going to https://groups.io/g/elyda-superlist/ and clicking the "join this group" button at the bottom of the page.

If you do not have an account then you must first click on "Sign Up" at the top right. Enter your email address and a password for this account. (It's also possible to use a Facebook or Google account). You will get an email asking you to confirm that your email address is valid and that it really was you who asked to create the account. Once you have the account you can log in and join the group -- see the earlier paragraph.

A few hashtags for the list have been pre-populated in a dropdown (for admin, individual districts, handbells, practices, etc) - please use these first, and only set up your own hashtags if your topic is missing. Have fun!

JoAnne Rutter, May 2021

Ely DA Subscriptions in 2021

Ely DA membership subscriptions for 2021 would normally be due at the beginning of the year. However, the Ely DA General Committee unanimously agreed the following resolution at its meeting in December 2020: ‘That the collection of 2021 subscriptions be deferred until after the 2021 AGM, and that the General Committee would recommend to that AGM that the subscription be set at £0 for this one year only’.

Donations in lieu of a subscription are, of course, welcome and encouraged.

If you donate to the Bell Restoration Fund (which is a charity) then the donation can be gift-aided. A gift aid form is available on the BRF page here; the gift aid form can be completed online. You can make a donation to the General Account via BACS, please contact any District Secretary or Nicholas Small as Treasurer (treasurer_at_elyda.org.uk ) for account details. If you intend to make a donation to the BRF in lieu of a subscription, then please make the donation initially to the General Account, informing the Treasurer of your intentions. Then, in case the General Committee’s resolution is not passed at the AGM, the donation can be re-purposed as a subscription. 

Lockdown Bellringing Activities

Dee Smith, as RATO for the Association, has provided a summary of suggested activities. The current list, dated 23/04/20, is here, and Dee will provide updates as new events arise. Contents of the summary: Cambridge District Webinars; Drop-in and Help sessions on Saturday mornings; Ringing Room. 

More photos and reports

More photos and general reports of interest to the Association are here. See also Learning and Teaching, including Training events.

Advertise your tower open day with the Ely DA banner

If you are organising an open day at your tower or having a presence at local fetes or other events, the Association Mobile Demonstration Bell, Display Stand, Hand-out Leaflets and Advertising Banner are excellent ways of attracting attention and making people more aware of ringing and its benefits.  

The mobile demonstration bell, display stands and banner are available to borrow. More information here.